MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) -- Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said Mobile violated state law by moving a statue of Confederate Admiral Raphael Semmes from its pedestal on Government Street.

Mayor Sandy Stimpson ordered the statue taken down and it was removed in the early morning hours of June 5. The city did not announce the move before it happened.

After Marshall's ruling, his office said the City of Mobile has agreed to pay a $25,000 fine. 

On Sunday, June 14, Stimpson announced the statue had been turned over to the History Museum of Mobile, where the city said it will eventually be placed on display. Mayor Stimpson said he had hoped that plan would keep the city in compliance with the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act. 

The law passed by state lawmakers and signed by Gov. Kay Ivey in 2017 requires local governments to get permission from the state government before removing monuments or renaming streets or public buildings that are older than 40 years.  

The Alabama Attorney General’s Office also fined Birmingham after a Confederate monument was removed from a downtown park.

After announcing the Semmes statue was heading to the museum, Stimpson said in a statement, "I have no doubt that moving the statue from public display was the right thing to do for our community going forward. The values represented by this monument a century ago are not the values of Mobile in 2020."


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